The annual “Making a Difference” Award recognizes exceptional volunteers who have contributed thousands of hours improving the public lands. Their work ranges from trail repairs, providing environmental education and visitor services to monitoring and habitat restoration.
The volunteers selected for this year’s awards were:
• Mark Kreider (Outstanding Youth), Anchorage District Office, Alaska;
• Jupiter Environmental Research and Field Studies Academy (Outstanding Youth), Jupiter Inlet Outstanding Natural Area, Florida;
• Stan Shaw (Outstanding Achievement), Yuma Field Office, Arizona;
• Dr. Jack Hailman (Outstanding Achievement), Jupiter Inlet Outstanding Natural Area, Florida;
• Verna Pratt (Lifetime Achievement), Campbell Creek Science Center, Alaska;
• Mark Hesse (Lifetime Achievement—posthumous), Monticello Field Office, Utah;
• Floyd and Opal Jensen (Lifetime Achievement), Salem District Office, Oregon; and
• Friends of Pompeys Pillar (Lifetime Achievement), Pompeys Pillar National Monument, Montana.
• Rob Sweeten, Utah State Office, is the winning BLM employee.
A national panel of BLM specialists and partner representatives selected the award winners from dozens of nominees submitted by BLM state offices. The winners were selected for their exceptional contributions to the conservation and management of public lands.
In Fiscal Year 2013, more than 30,000 volunteers served over 1.15 million hours to the BLM, the equivalent of 641 work years. That represents $26 million worth of service donated to the Bureau, a 22:1 return on investment.